Juncker: The EU-Turkey refugee deal hanging by a thread
European President Jean Claude Juncker warned the deal between the EU and Turkey on the control of the refugee flows is in jeopardy of being scrapped, in an interview to Austrian newspaper ‘Kurier’, Saturday. ‘The danger is high. The success of of the agreement until now has been fragile. The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdgan, has repeatedly implied that he intends to challenge it’, Juncker stressed in the interview. ‘If this happens, we should expect migrants will start coming to Europe en masse’, he went on to say. Meanwhile, as the according to the Greek authorities, there are a total of 57,077 people being hosted in organised centres throughout Greece, with the capacity of the current hotspots being a little over 60,000. Even though the refuge flows are notably down compared to the summer of 2015, people continue to cross into Greek territory, with 118 refugees crossing the Aegean Sea on Friday. The controversial deal managed to largely curb the migrant flows into Europe, however, the Commission’s efforts to share the burdens of the crisis across other EU countries via the relocation scheme, thus alleviating the pressures on Greece and Italy, has failed. The failed coup attempt in Turkey caused the dismissal of thousands of Turkish state officials, many of which were responsible for implementing the EU-Turkey refugee deal. Just three days after the coup attempt a group of Turkish officials dealing with the refugee deal were recalled to Turkey and were not replaced. In the interview Juncker expressed his concerns on the internal political developments in both Poland and Hungary, saying that the Polish government’s actions on the operation of the country’s Constitutional Court constituted a ‘blow to the rule of Law’, while the PM of Hungary, Viktor Orban, likened the migration as ‘poison’ and said he would hold a referendum on the matter.
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